• Rhaedas
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    273 months ago

    Not a great quote for a scientist, so I looked up where it came from, a conclusion of many paragraphs about the necessity of God in his final book.

    It’s my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation: there is probably no heaven and afterlife either. I think belief in an afterlife is just wishful thinking. There is no reliable evidence for it, and it flies in the face of everything we know in science. I think that when we die we return to dust. But there’s a sense in which we live on, in our influence, and in our genes that we pass on to our children. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.

    Sagan had a similar take - he didn’t like the term atheist as it implied certain evidence of the lack of a divine being, proof of a negative, something that isn’t very scientific. Rather he preferred to be called agnostic on the topic of gods existing, saying there was no conclusive evidence yet for their existence.

    A bit long, I just had to say something about the short quote since Hawking was very much a scientific person.

    • FuglyDuck
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      93 months ago

      It should be noted that you can prove a negative by disproving the opposite.

      For example, if “god does not exist” is wrong , that means at least one god exists. Arguments here can tackle all sorts of things, since theists usually make other sorts of claims about god and the nature of their existence.

      Further, it is scientifically valid to say “there is no evidence of god”. What you do with that; that’s your call. most will either excuse this fact as a matter of faith or use that lack of evidence as probabilistic proof.

      That is to say, the assertion is modified to “there is probably no god”. If a divine being came down here; I don’t think any one here would outright insist on its non-existence.

      We might dispute the divine aspect. We probably wouldn’t worship it. (Let’s be honest gods are universally assholes. Especially the Christian god.)

    • @[email protected]
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      33 months ago

      We accept things as certain every day based on the evidence and how it fits into our model.

      It’s as scientific to say there is no god as it is to say there is gravity. As we observe and understand it, these things are the accepted reality.